It's a new era for the Avengers of Marvel's Universe, if the recruitment of the most famous half-vampiric Daywalker wasn't enough of a hint. But with Black Panther rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. as a new organization based out of Wakanda, and not the United States, he's recruiting a team as varied and knowledgeable as possible. That means it isn't just superheroes he's pulling in, but sorcerers, cavemen, demigods, and even vampires. But only Blade has gotten a full-blown membership as an Avenger.
Not a moment too soon, either, since Marvel's version of Earth is now being plunged into all-out vampire war.
- This Page: Blade Joins The New Avengers Team
- Page 2: Blade Leads The Avengers Into Vampire War
The Avengers Rescue Blade (Just in Time)
The role being played by Blade has been building for months, as Jason Aaron's plan for his main Avengers series has taken shape with help from several artists, and just as many disparate storylines. In Avengers #10, the issue ended with a bang, jumping to (founding Avenger) The Wasp as she buzzed her way into Transylvania on a mysterious rescue mission.
Without a hint of what was about to be revealed, Wasp evaded a pursuing army of vampire guards as she infiltrated Dracula's Castle (yes, that Dracula). With seconds to spare, the final page confirmed that the "target" was in sight. What readers didn't expect was for Wasp to find Blade, beaten and chained in Dracula's dungeons... and for her offer of enlistment into the Avengers to be accepted without a moment's hesitation.
Meet Blade, The New Avenger
Technically, Blade's response to Wasp - "Get me my swords" - still left his decision a bit unclear. Until a few issues later in Avengers #13 when the rest of the core Avengers began to wonder just how Black Panther's intelligence of global affairs was being updated by the hour. As King T'Challa explained, he was relying on informants and spies throughout not only countries, but magical realms, aliens hiding out on Earth... even rumblings of a vampire Civil War brewing in their race's Eastern European homelands.
And as a firm believer in finding the right tool (or operative) for the job, Black Panther tried to tiptoe his longtime Avengers into accepting their newest recruit. An attempt erased by Blade, who announced his Avenger status by promising that the killing of vampires - hundreds, maybe even thousands of them - was about to become the Avengers' newest mission. In the latest issue of Avengers #14, that prophecy comes true.
The Avengers are on the front lines of the vampire World War that has erupted across Marvel Comics. And if fans have only dreamed of seeing Blade fighting alongside Captain Marvel, Thor, Captain America, and the rest of Marvel's heavy hitters, then those dreams have finally come true. And from his reaction, this is the fight Blade's been waiting for, too.